Spot Check – Meanwhile 2

Meanwhile 2 is almost 30 years old now. It began with a handful of ramps from the old Meanwhile Park and grew from there. As a park it was overlooked for years by skaters outside London, but it was put squarely on the map when the Gonz trademarked the gap between the waves with a frontside ollie in ’87.

Since then it has become a stop-off spot for tours and road trips with skaters from all over the world hitting up the banks and gap. Notably, Keith Hufnagel 360 flipped it in ’97 on the DC Super tour, Tom Penny nollie flipped it and more recently Greg Lutzka alley-oop frontside flipping across at the 2007 Gap Jam.

For a major city, London has very few undercover skate spots; Southbank and Bay66 are more or less the only ones that are bust free. So if you don’t want to be gawped at by tourists or have to pay to get into a park when it’s raining, Meanwhile 2 is the place to go and do your thing.

The new Freestyle Ramps refurb remains very true to what has always been there; the blocks and flatbanks have been part of a staple diet in West London since god knows when. The other thing the park had to maintain was a floor as smooth as glass. It’s no longer red, but it still glides like a dream. Thankfully the locals involved kept the essence of the park, while managing to throw in some new stuff…

The gap is still intact, so none of the long-rolling lifers can get upset about that! The improvements are mostly on the old street hockey area, although the waves now have an extended platform, so the roll in to the gap should be a lot less sketchy!

The main addition is the crescent bowled out end at the back of the park; this links up on the other side to form a block/ledge on the dished part of the wave of the original park, adding yet another gap to be explored. The crescent’s angles leave it free to be hit up from either the block or the new hip. The new block is a to-scale updated version of the old one, but less bumpy on top, and considerably less prone to being set on fire! The higher block makes this a perfect training ground for getting your gap to ledge steeze on too.

At the other end of the park is a wide flat bank at a good angle to pop high and certainly high enough (head high) to get a good run up at the rest of the park. The other main addition is the pyramid hip, on the photos its looks pretty mellow, but it works fine, ideal for learning and has a small table top so you can pop over it like a volcano too.

The park is always open, free to ride and has a genuinely safer feel than it has ever had due to the cleaning up. The sports centre next door is open late and has a lot more people passing by now, where as previously you might easily feel vulnerable and isolated. Lights are also on all night so evening sessions are on.

Click here for a map. Meanwhile 2 is located directly under the Westway in West London. The closest tube is Royal Oak on the Hammersmith and City line, and from there you turn right out the station and walk under the underpass. The number 18 bus runs the entire length of the Harrow Road so it’s easy to get to from Euston Station and the bus drops you almost to the coping. It’s no more than 10 minutes from Meanwhile 1 and Bay66 too, so it’s a nice and easy day out to visit all 3 spots, plus if you break a kingpin or get lost, the nearest skate shop is Half-Pipe on 40 Golborne Road – I’m sure they will be happy to take SOS phone calls!

The locals came up with a simple but effective skate park and generally the place is rad. Happy skateboarding.

Philip Procter